How to make the most of your vacation days in 2020•
It sounds deceptively easy – just pick a destination and choose some dates, and your 2020 vacation planning is done. Not so fast, though, if you want to make the most of your time off from work. Choosing your vacation days strategically, can serve you well and add some bonus time to you rare time off.
How to make the most of your vacation days in 2020
You have only a select number of vacation days a year – and after that you’ll be taking paid time off. You can make the most of the days you have allocated if you plan your trip wisely. Consider the following holidays and common days off when you plan and make the most of those “extra” days. When you take a full week off, you’ll feel refreshed but you will still miss some things while you are gone. When you use official work days off for your vacation, the whole place is closed and you won’t miss anything. For fast paced environments, very competitive workplaces and facilities where attendance is critical, timing your trip for when the rest of the office is closed can allow you to lose less time or less of your edge when you are out.
“They have really good benefits and encourage we take vacation and personal time” – Anonymous Employer Review at Centurylink Boise
The following “holidays” or days off are usually offered by most employers; see your own work calendar to determine which paid days off your own company offers:
From New Year’s Day to Thanksgiving: most employers offer these days off. If you are in healthcare, your facility may still be open, but offer extra pay and perks for those who work. Federal holidays include the “big” ones like Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Christmas; generally, if banks and the post office are closed, your work may be as well.
These will differ depending on where you live; each state offers a different set of holidays; your employer may or may not follow these. You should identify any state holidays that your employer offers and consider using them for extra time off for your vacation. State holidays are not mandatory, but are usually followed by larger organizations.
There may be some specific days off that your company provides; in some cases, these might be to cover an event that does not require you to participate, but does leave the staff to a minimal amount. Closing on these days may be the easiest solution. Other events include holidays or activities that are important to your organization or industry; these can also be offered as paid time off and used to extend a vacation.
Another type of holidays you may benefit from, are the religious ones. Some companies offer paid time off for big common holidays such as Hannukah. Ask your HR – Team about the possibility and if you are authorized to request those additional vacation days.
But let’s dig a little deeper. Like mentioned before, there is a way how you can strategically plan your vacation days to have more time off, whilst using less of your own days off.
The Federal Holidays for the US in 2020 are:
|Date||Federal Holiday||Day of the Week|
|January 1, 2020||New Year's Day||Wednesday|
|January 20, 2020||Martin Luther King Day||Monday|
|February 17, 2020||Presidents Day||Monday|
|May 25, 2020||Memorial Day||Monday|
|July 3, 2020||Independence Day (observed)||Friday|
|July 4, 2020||Independence Day||Saturday|
|September 7, 2020||Labor Day||Monday|
|October 12, 2020||Columbus Day||Monday|
|November 11, 2020||Veteran Day||Wednesday|
|November 26, 2020||Thanksgiving||Thursday|
|Dezember 25, 2020||Christmas Day||Friday|
As you can see, most of the Federal Holidays occur on a Monday. This is actually perfect to create a few extended weekends without using too much of your own vacation days in 2020. For example: If there is a Federal Holiday coming up on a Monday, you take time off on Friday prior and the Tuesday after. Et violá – you got yourself 5 Days off, by just using 2 vacation days. The same principle applies when there is a Federal Holiday on Wednesday or Thursday. Just take the Days off right before and after.
This might make much more sense if you add your individual state holidays and maybe company holidays to your calendar. You can create an even bigger span of time off, without actually using up all of your vacation days.
The following calendar shows the Federal Holidays (yellow) and the best possibilities to take vacation days in 2020 (green).
Disclaimer: Not all companies allow their staff to take vacation days right before a federal or state holiday. Keep in touch with your HR or Legal Team and ask about your possibilities and permissions before booking your flight to the Bahamas.
Does your employer offer you a fair amount of vacation days and paid time off? How many breaks can you take throughout the day? Let us know in a review on our site and help others find the most productive and positive employer for them. We wish you very happy and productive new year!